The view from Saudi Arabia: How the Newcastle United takeover has gone down in the Gulf

The Newcastle United takeover sparked scenes of jubilation on Tyneside - but how did it go down in Saudi Arabia?

This picture was taken at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah on Saturday.
This picture was taken at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah on Saturday.
This picture was taken at the Red Sea Mall in Jeddah on Saturday.

Cans, joy, flags and more cans. Thursday night was one to remember on Tyneside as Newcastle United fans flocked to their cathedral on the hill to pay homage to a new dawn.

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia majority buyout of the Magpies was heralded by black and whites everywhere, with the end of nearly 15 years of Mike Ashley lifting the gloom at St James’ Park.

But how did the takeover go down in Saudi? NewcastleWorld has spoken to Alwaleed, a Saudi national, Newcastle United fan and YouTuber about the mood in the Gulf.

What has the reaction been like in Saudi?

Sometimes, words cannot say the reality. What happened was insane. Thursday night - when the weekend starts in Saudi Arabia - was a historical day.

The announcement of the Takeover of NUFC by PIF happened in the same day of the game between Saudi Arabia against Japan in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (Asia). Saudi Arabia won the classico of Asia.

Saudis were celebrating on the streets for both the takeover of Newcastle United and the Japan win. Fans were celebrating and reacting crazy on social media - and Twitter is the main social media medium in Saudi Arabia.

Saudis thought the takeover would never happened, which lead to their crazy reaction once the news agencies announced the PIF deal was approved - and the dream came true.

PIF never fail in any deal, they are always winners and that’s one of the reasons I always believed it would happen.

Were Saudis shocked by the scenes of celebration in Newcastle?

Indeed. Most Saudis were shocked by the celebration of Newcastle United Fans. Even myself, I’ve never seen Newcastle celebrating this way.

This historical day will change the situation of Newcastle city in general, not only the football club.

Raising the Saudi Flags and MBS photos, also, wearing the Saudi Traditional Costume (Thoub/Shemagh) by a number of fans in Newcastle City was another point surprising to Saudis. It was received very well.

What have the newspapers been saying?

I have read every article on this subject so far, as you can imagine. All are interesting, but an article by Mr Riyadh Almusallam Arriyadiah, titled ‘Newcastle: the club of the people’, talked about loyalty in supporting teams - and he believes Newcastle will help Saudis get together to finally support just one Premier League team.

What do you think Newcastle fans can expect from PIF ownership?

The Takeover by PIF is a watershed in the history of the Premier League. What can PIF not do? People are right to be excited.

This is what Newcastle United fans have always been dreaming of. The club has now been set as richest club in the world.

Indeed, logical fans know that to achieve the level of the top six will take time, as we have seen in the experiences of Chelsea and Man City. However, why could Newcastle not do it sooner?

The new administration will follow the right procedures to build the club, from achieving stability to having one of the top coaches who could grow NUFC as a project, as well as having a successful policy in the transfer window.

What do you believe the future will hold for NUFC, with PIF at the wheel?

I believe the fans who watch my show Newcastle with Alwaleed they heard me always say: “the Premier League... it’s coming home Newcastle”.

I guess most of us remember when Man City won the Premier League after decades, and I have the same feeling with PIF at NUFC.

What I am sure about is Newcastle United will be one of the top teams in the Premier League and in the world.

A return of European nights is the goal for Newcastle United - and I am sure we will achieve this with PIF, not to mention the possibility of winning a European title.